Conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan present new challenges in protecting civilians, Security Council told

The armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have presented new, more difficult challenges to the task of protecting civilians and the United Nations has had to call on religious and cultural leaders to plead the cause of independent humanitarian activities, the world body's top relief official said today.

Environmental destruction during war exacerbates instability, UN official says

The head of the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today called on warring parties everywhere to stop destroying natural resources - a move which potentially worsens conflicts.

UN peacekeeping missions leading bid to protect kids caught in war, envoy says

United Nations operations deployed to strife-torn countries are leading the effort to protect the youngest victims of war, the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict says.

Women are vital to resolving armed conflicts and rebuilding peace – Fréchette

Women are often the first victims of any armed conflict, but they must also be recognized as central to any solution of that conflict, instead of being marginalized or ignored, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said today as she opened a conference in New York devoted to gender justice in post-conflict countries.

Civilian protections highlight annual UN push to boost treaty ratifications

With the recent string of violent terrorist attacks and last year’s deadly bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Iraq showing that civilians are increasingly the main victims of armed conflicts, treaties that protect the rights of civilians will be the focus this year of the annual push to boost ratification of global conventions, UN officials said today.

UN conference to study why women in war-torn States suffer justice deficit

Women living in war-torn countries suffer from a "gender deficit" when it comes to justice, exposed to more sexual violence and lacking the same protections as men, a senior United Nations official said today on the eve of a conference in New York about justice for women in post-conflict nations.

Security Council urged to strengthen efforts to protect civilians during war

At least 10 million people caught up in 20 separate wars around the world are cut off from access to aid workers, the United Nations’ top humanitarian official said today as he urged the Security Council to strengthen its efforts to protect civilians in armed conflicts.

Civilians still bearing the brunt of war, Annan says

Civilians continue to bear the brunt of armed conflicts, and sexual violence – especially against women and girls – is increasingly used as a weapon of war, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a report released today.

Annan calls for systematic approach within UN to dealing with armed conflicts

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said a “more systematic approach” between the United Nations’ security and development arms is necessary if business is to play a constructive role in countries either facing or emerging from armed conflicts

Security Council explores ways that business plays good and bad role in conflicts

From exploring the importance of a growing economy as an incentive to living in peace to studying the need to better monitor corporate behaviour to discussing the crucial function the private sector can play in encouraging development, the United Nations Security Council today held a debate about the role of business in countries facing or emerging from war.